Prayer is as essential to my life as breathing. I learned long ago that if I do not ground my day in prayer, things often go awry as the day goes on. In fact, when I was a novice, I received a little sign that read, “A day hemmed in prayer seldom unravels.” This sign still hangs above our convent stairway to remind us of the importance of praying daily.
Dominicans hold prayer as one of the four pillars (or foundation stones) of life. Along with study, community and ministry/service, prayer grounds and informs our life. Our connection with God reminds us that God is present to us, as we hear in this quote from St. Teresa of Avila, “We need no wings to go in search of God, but have only to look upon God ever present within us.” Yet, we need to be guided in learning how to pray and to build that relationship with God so we can discern well.
When I was in formation, I had a wise guide in Sr. Mary Carmel. Sister lived next door to me in the convent and would often share with me a few words of wisdom as we passed in the hall or when she would invite me in to share a book or article she thought I would find enlightening. She would then invite me to sit down and pray with her. From her, I learned that I first needed to develop a regular practice of prayer and from that foundation, my relationship with God would grow naturally.
Fast forward to a few months ago, when several of the women we are walking with in discernment asked if we could start a prayer group for them. They know prayer is essential to their journey, but they wanted to learn how to pray, needed some direction and yearned for group support and encouragement to do so. Thus, we are delighted to share that a brand new prayer group for discerning women is forming and our first meeting will be on Sunday, October 25.
We will do as Sr. Carmel did with me. We will share some instruction & inspiration and then dive right into practicing different forms of prayer. It is by praying that one learns to pray.
If you are interested in learning more about this prayer group or beginning the discernment journey with us, please contact us here. We also invite discerning women to consider attending our Online Advent Mini-retreat on Sunday, November 29. For more information and to register click here.